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Banedanmark settles with Alstom over ETCS delays

DENMARK: Infrastructure manager Banedanmark has reached a settlement with Alstom over revisions to the 2012 contract to supply and install ETCS onboard equipment for the national Signalling Programme.

Under the ambitious timescale approved in 2009, the installation of both lineside and onboard equipment had been due for completion by 2021, but by 2016 the project was running late. In November 2017 the government announced that an independent review by Deloitte had determined ‘that the installation of onboard equipment in the existing train fleet is the main challenge for the Signalling Programme’s current schedule’.

Banedanmark responded by extending the implementation timescale to 2030. That in turn required the installation of temporary lineside signals on the København – Ringsted new line and immunising older signals on Roskilde – Holbæk and several other lines ahead of electrification.

Announcing the settlement with Alstom on January 17, Banedanmark said the parties had ‘agreed to settle the contractual disagreements in order to focus on a timely and correct execution of the contract for the benefit of passengers and the railway operators’. In particular, the parties ‘have agreed a new timescale for the fitment of Danish rolling stock with ERTMS’.

Alstom will compensate Banedanmark €16·25m for the delays, but in return the infrastructure manager will pay €17·5m to cover change requests related to a lack of information in the tenders about the specific classes of rolling stock to be retrofitted. Alstom will be paid €4·5m to deliver an updated software release based on SRS 3.4.0, but has accepted ‘an overall increase in financial exposure’ to the contract. A new bonus scheme potentially valued at up to €12·5m is intended to incentivise the supplier to ensure that rolling stock fitment meets the milestones in Banedanmark’s revised schedule. An updated infrastructure development programme running to 2030 was published in December.

According to Banedanmark, negotiating changes to the contract was more cost-effective than re-tendering. That would have taken at least two years, adding further delay and risking the prospect of completed work having to be re-done. It estimated the potential cost of that option at between €130m and €270m.

Meanwhile, Banedanmark says ERTMS installation is progressing on all fronts. Trains began using ETCS Level 2 on the Early Deployment Line for the Fjernbane West infrastructure contract between Frederikshavn and Lindholm from October 21, and installation work has started on the Struer – Thisted route. On the Fjernbane East contract, the EDL between Roskilde and Køge is due to come into use in May, with installation underway on the Køge – Næstved section.

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